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  • Laura L. Van Tassel, Esq.

Use Your Emotions During The Divorce Process

Dissolving a marriage is emotional. At the heart of any divorce are two people who once were in-love and now find themselves at a crossroads in life. So it’s no wonder that divorce can bring out the lunatic within us. Rage, anger, depression, sadness, resentment, and blame are just some of negative emotions that can run wild in the best of us. For this reason we often hear people telling divorcing couples not to get “emotional” during your divorce process.

As an attorney for over 21 years, I have a very different take on emotions. Emotions (often viewed as something negative) are always a part of the divorce process, regardless if you and your spouse choose to use lawyers, file without lawyers, are very friendly or angry, or choose mediation.

Couples often ask me: How can we do mediation when our emotions are involved?

Emotions are vital to the success of any divorce mediation that I am involved with because emotions – are necessary.

Emotions are inherently part of all of us. While some men and women may find it easier to express their feelings and emotions than others, may have more control over their emotions, or may sometimes feel like they are being held hostage by their emotions, in the end, divorce mediation is about customizing the process to make it work best for both spouses.

As I work with the couple, I always encourage each of them to express their emotions and feelings whenever they need to. Invariably, it is the couples who accept my advice and stop holding-in their feelings during mediation that have the most success.

What is most interesting is that I never know or can predict which exact topic that we discuss during our mediation sessions will trigger a flood of emotions. However, based upon experience, here are some examples of topics that often times causes an emotional reaction:

  • A parent hears the other parent question their ability to care for their child.

  • A parent comes to the realization that the time they will spend with their child is based upon a written schedule.

  • The couple has no choice but to sell the house they have lived and raised a family together or over 20 years.

  • A spouse needs to decide which of them will take possession of a family heirloom.

Regardless of the moment or moments when the emotions surface, how they are handled by the mediator are key to how successful the process will be.

When I facilitate a divorce mediation, they are never “cookie-cutter” but conducted to best accommodate the individual needs of each spouse and the couple as a whole.

I have helped numerous couples resolve their divorces peacefully— If you and your spouse are ready for “A Kinder Approach To Divorce” or either one or both you are contemplating divorce, I am here to help. Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario or if you just want more information about the divorce mediation process, visit

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